Republicans in congress are using the budget cuts debate as a way to slip their climate denying, anti-woman ideology into the bill, while house democrats attempt to meet Republicans, more than halfway, to avert a government shutdown. As of this post there are 7 hours, 55 minutes, and 20 seconds until a possible shutdown if a deal is not reached.
With all of the chaotic drama taking place in congress, where the hell is the President? You know, that guy in the oval office who is supposed to be the most powerful person in the country. Mr. Charming-in-Chief has sat on the sidelines throughout this entire impasse, playing the role of nonpartisan negotiator. This is the moment when the eyes of the country are on Washington, an opportunity that as a democrat, Obama should use to frame the debate.
You would think that during a crucial moment when the entire democratic platform is being viciously attacked, from environmental regulations to reproductive rights, the most powerful democrat in office would be on the front-lines. Instead he has been mostly absent.
Ari Berman at the Nation says it best:
In recent days, Obama has played the role of negotiator-in-chief, huddling with John Boehner and Harry Reid in order to avoid a government shutdown. Yet by failing to thematically challenge the GOP’s cuts or advance an alternative narrative on the economy, he’s made it easier for Boehner to keep demanding larger and larger spending cuts. Even if House Republicans are unhappy with a final agreement, any deal that is struck will include major concessions by Democrats.